US Navy forward-deploys ballistic missile defense destroyer to Japan

The US Navy announced that its ballistic missile defense (BMD)-capable guided missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69 is leaving her homeport of San Diego to join the US Navy Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Japan.

The destroyer is getting underway on April 20 and will be forward deployed to Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, where it is scheduled to arrive at the end of May.

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers perform key roles in support of carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups or surface action groups. Destroyers are capable of sustained combat operations supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.

USS Milius was originally scheduled to sail to Japan in 2017 reinforcing the navy’s BMD fleet following the USS Fitzgerald collision in June 2017, but was rescheduled so the ship could complete its maintenance and modernization. The destroyer was fitted with the Aegis Baseline 9 combat system during its modernization.

Millius is expected to be joined in Japan by the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) which is scheduled to forward-deploy to Sasebo later this year.

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